Saturday, 6 July 2013

SINGLE: Jellyfish - The King Is Half Undressed (1991)

UK - Charisma CUSS1 (January 1991)

There was a period, covering the late 1980's and early 1990's, when I appeared to be the kiss-of-death to records that I liked. I would hear something I really loved, think "that's gonna be a hit!", go out and buy it, then curse myself as it stalled outside the top 40 or failed to chart altogether.

Think I'm being paranoid? Here's some examples of great records I cursed: Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" stalled at 27 in the UK (yes, 27!!!), the week I bought a copy. And they were the lucky ones. Aztec Camera's "The Crying Scene"? Peaked at number 70. The week I bought it. Kirsty MacColl's "Caroline"? Number 58. And guess who bought it when it sat at that position? As you can see, there's a definite pattern emerging. My love of The Hoodoo Gurus is probably the reason they've never entered the UK chart. Sorry guys.

It's with all of the above in mind that I should also apologise to Jellyfish for buying "The King Is Half Undressed" as it sneaked up to number 39. I must have been responsible for halting it's deserved rise to number 1, as I can think of no other fathomable reason why a record this good should meet with such a fate. As you can hear for yourself, it's an infectious piece of power-pop that pounds its way into the cranium relentlessly before lulling you into a false sense of security with an interlude like a Beach Boys "Smile"-era vocal outtake, before the drums and guitars come crashing back to pick up where they left off. And then it's over. Marvellous. The video's trippy as hell too.

I also bought the accompanying album "Bellybutton". It failed to chart...

Read more about the underrated Jellyfish in their Wikipedia entry here

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